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Re: ThirunaamangaL

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Thu Jun 01 1995 - 18:43:01 PDT

There is one sloka by Desikar that beautifully explains the
12 thirunaamams of PerumaaL. These 12 names are probably
familiar to all of us; they are repeatedly used during nearly 
all ceremonies and rituals, including sandhyaavandanam, 
ritual bathing, etc.

The sloka appears in Desikar's "dramiDopanishad taatparya 
ratnaavaLI", a Sanskrit summary of sri nammaazhvaar's
thiruvaaymozhi.  Each set of 11 paasurams is summarized very 
crisply in one sloka, in Sanskrit that I often find quite 
difficult to disassemble.

The following sloka is the summary for thiruvaaymozhi 2.7.x,
which is unique among all the decads in that it has 13 paasurams,
one for each of the 12 special names of the Lord, with the
customary thirteenth being the phalaSruti.

sarvaadiH sarvanaathas tribhuvajananIvallabhaH svaaSritaarthI
   vishvag vyaapty aatidIpto vimatanirasanaH svaanghrisadbhaktidaayI |
visvaaptyau vaamanaangaH svavibhavarasadaH svaantanirvaahayogyaH
   svaartheho bandhamoktaasvajanahitatayaa dvaadaSaakhyaabhiruce || 29 ||

The translator R. Rangachari writes:

The twelve special Names of the Lord -- think of their import:

   Kesava - The Source of all;
   Narayana - The Master of all;
   Madhava - The Consort of the three worlds' Mother;
   Govinda - He who makes us His willing bondsmen ever;
   Vishnu - Lustrous Pervader of the Universe;
   Madhusudana - Slayer of His foes (egoists);
   Trivikrama - He who of His own volition, placed His foot on the
                heads of all Beings, to rouse Devotion therefor;
   Vamana - He, who deigned to become a tiny dwarf to restore the
            worlds (unto Him);
   Sridhara - The abode of Sri, the appellation most dear to Him
              and to us;
   Hrishikesa - The Director of our heart and mind towards Him;
   Padmanabha - He, from whose Lotus-navel, arose the Universe, 
                His own body;
   Damodara - The bound one that liberates all from bondage  
              (our unfailing hope!) --

SaThakopa expounds thus and rejoices.

It was very nice to see such a meaningful interpretation
of such common names.